The Yankees have recently clinched yet another postseason berth. With an 8.5-game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays entering Sunday’s games, the American League East title is all but a certainty, as well. Do you know what isn’t, though? If reliever Aroldis Chapman will be around to help New York in the coming weeks.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post had some direct things to say about Chapman’s current standing within the organization:
The Yankees are at least contemplating whether to designate him for assignment. Essentially, the question is whether they believe they can straighten out his delivery and confidence in the waning days of the season and — even if there positives — whether they would trust him enough with his vacillating performances and control to put him on the postseason roster. Because, if not, he too is a free agent after the season and there are no plans for a reunion.
The 34-year-old’s effectiveness on the mound has consistently decreased over the years. It’s culminated in 2022 with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP, along with career-worst marks in strikeout rate (26.0%) and walk rate (17.1%).
Chapman’s monthly production has also been quite the roller coaster ride. Check out how his ERA has changed since April:
- April: 0.00 ERA in 8.1 innings
- May: 9.53 ERA in 5.2 innings
- July: 6.75 ERA in 9.1 innings
- August: 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings
- September: 0.00 ERA in 2.1 innings
Although the reliever’s immediate future with the Yankees is up in the air, Sherman made one thing appear quite certain. Chapman, who is in the final season of a three-year, $48 million contract, won’t be back in the Bronx for the 2023 campaign.
One of the biggest questions the Yankees must sort out over this final stretch of the regular season is what their bullpen will look like for the playoffs. It seems like Chapman’s performance and how he goes about getting those results will be closely scrutinized before deciding whether it’s worthwhile to keep him around.
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